Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

David Lungren 202-224-5642

Inhofe Welcomes Obama's Message on Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today commented on President Obama's announcement on offshore drilling and energy policy.

"I appreciate the President's apparent willingness to consider offshore drilling as part of the Administration's energy policy," Senator Inhofe said. "Time will tell as to whether Obama is really ready to embrace offshore drilling or simply wanting to look like he is.

"As I have long said, we can make great strides toward increasing North American energy independence by developing our own domestic resources.  We can do this and support millions of American jobs, produce affordable energy for consumers, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

"It also appears President Obama is caught in a contradiction: the President is, on the one hand, pushing forward with global warming policies to make fossil fuels more expensive, while on the other hand, he's talking about drilling for more fossil fuels offshore.  How does the President square these two policies?"

Senator Inhofe also commented on the President's announcement of using alternative fuels in the US Military.

"If the President was really serious about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and increasing the energy security of the US military, he would work with me to pass legislation to repeal section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  The purpose of Section 526 is to prevent the Department of Defense from purchasing fuel from the Canadian Oil Sands-where there is an estimated 180 billion barrels of oil. This provision prevents the U.S. Air Force from using alternative fuels, such as coal-to-liquid and natural gas-to-liquid fuels, in its fueling options. Back in my state of Oklahoma, Tinker Air Force Base is home to a pilot program to fuel B-52 Tankers with natural gas-to-liquid fuels.  Repealing this provision would allow the government to purchase these fuels and preserve our military's fueling options."